Moving overseas can be stressful, but knowing what to expect – especially where expenses are concerned— can help you manage your family’s budget. AHRN.com reached out to military spouse blogger Melissa Gilliam Shaw to share her experiences budgeting for passport and licensing expenses during a PCS to Germany.
Many military families have dealt with the frustration of renewing and managing licenses while moving from state to state for a CONUS PCS. When your move involves another country, there is an additional layer of potential hassle. A little preparation and knowing what to expect, goes a long way to a smooth OCONUS move.
Traveler’s Passports – $150 per person
When your family gets orders for an OCONUS PCS, everyone but the service member will need an official passport. The official orders serve the same function for the service member as the official passport does for dependents, so service members do not need an official passport. The official passport is paid for by the military, but can’t be used for personal travel.
If your family intends to travel outside of Germany while stationed there, including flying back to the United States to visit family, you’ll need travel passports. You should budget between $100 and $150 per person per passport, and you should allow plenty of time for the application to be processed and your passport to be delivered. (Learn more on the Department of State website.)
German Driver’s License – $15
When you arrive at your new duty station, you’ll take the local driver’s test and obtain your German driver’s license. The German driver’s license cost around $15, and it allows us to drive legally inside Germany.
International Driver’s License – $20
If you want to drive in countries outside your Germany, you’ll need an international driver’s license. In the EU, you can estimate around $20 per person for that license, plus the cost of a passport photo (usually around $5 on post).
U.S. Driver’s License – Varies
You should also consider renewing your US driver’s license before moving overseas. Some host nations will deem your local (German) driver’s license null and void if your U.S. license has expired, so don’t PCS with a soon-to-expire American license.
Preparing for an OCONUS PCS? Check out Melissa’s other OCONUS PCS Budgeting Tips:
- Budgeting For Your PCS To Germany
- Budgeting For Your PCS To Germany: Traveling With A Pet
- Budgeting For Your PCS To Germany: Adapting To EU Utilities
- Budgeting For Your PCS To Germany: Your Vehicle
Meet Your Contributor:
Melissa Gilliam Shaw is a freelance marketing professional and the creator of MilliGFunk: a blog about resilience, adventures, and deeply planted roots. Melissa’s husband is an officer in the Army, and they live in Germany with their daughter and their scruffy rescue dog who still hasn’t forgiven them for making her fly cargo from the U.S.A. to Germany. You can find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, LinkedIn, and Google+.